Flexible Working

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Your flexible friend: flow chart and tips for dealing with flexible working requests

If you have ever had to deal with flexible working requests, you will know that there is a strict procedure with prescribed deadlines that must be followed. To assist employers in dealing with such requests and ensuring that the process runs as smoothly as...

Avoiding redundancies: Top tips to save costs without (permanently) losing staff

Whilst planning how to save costs in a business is a difficult and stressful and the ‘quick fix’ of lowering head count might be attractive, HR practitioners should not jump to the conclusion that redundancies are an inevitable part of the...

Flexible working survey results

Many thanks to all those of you who responded to our survey about the Government’s proposed reform of the parental leave and flexible working regimes. We are especially grateful for those who took the opportunity to express their views in the...

The Olympic Games 2012: One year to go - are you ready?

Dear Auntie With only one year to go to the London Olympic Games, we need to start planning and getting in shape! The summer holidays always cause a headache for us in the HR team, but we are expecting August 2012 to be even more challenging when the...

Getting in shape for the 2012 Olympic Games

Dear Auntie, I have already received some holiday requests in relation to the 2012 Olympic Games, even though they are over a year away. Is it too early to start thinking about the Olympics already? Miss Onya Marks Dear Onya, Any employer could be...

School's out for summer

With school holidays in full swing, here are a few tips on leave issues common at this time of year and how best to deal with them… 1. Temporary changes to working hours You may get more requests for temporary changes to working hours over the...

Discrimination by association: handle with care

Martha Arnold considers the implications of the ECJ’s ruling in Coleman v Attridge Law, in which an employee alleged that she suffered discrimination from her employer because of her disabled son. Ms Coleman, was employed as a legal secretary at...

Homeworking or homeshirking?

We have an employee who has been employed by us for 5 years.  She originally worked full time in our London office, but about a year ago made a request to work flexibly as she has young children, which we approved. She now works 3 days a week in...

'K' is for Kids

Over recent years, the Government has put in place various ‘family friendly’ legislation in an attempt to promote work/life balance and in recognition of the fact that parents frequently are required to juggle their work commitments with their...

Mobile workers: the risks of remote working

Since the early 1990s communications technology has given an increasing number of people the ability to work effectively from home (although readers who remember using dial-up modems may still be recovering from the stress levels caused by slow and...

BA pilot flies to victory on appeal - Jessica Starmer v British Airways plc

Mrs Starmer, who has a 2 year old daughter and who is expecting her second child, had reduced her working hours by 25 per cent when she returned from maternity leave last year. This would often involve her being away from home for 3 consecutive nights and...

Domestic emergencies! Are you a rock or a hard place?

There are few certainties in life:- taxes, death and the fact that your domestic appliances will wait until the most inconvenient time for you before exploding/leaking/giving up the ghost. Whilst moving house and changing jobs may be two of the most...

BA landed with liability for sex discrimination - Jessica Starmer v British Airways

On 21 April 2005, Jessica Starmer, a female airline pilot for British Airways (“BA”), succeeded in her claims of indirect sex discrimination and the right to work part-time against BA. Supported by her Trade Union, the British Airline Pilots...

Auntie helps you with your homework...

Dear HR Law Auntie One of our female employees, Mary, wants to work from home 3 days a week for childcare reasons. I know that under the new statutory right to request flexible working I have a right to refuse the request for certain business grounds. Due...

When absence doesn't necessarily make the heart grow fonder...

This article highlights some important points to bear in mind when dealing with staff absence from work whether this be time off for public duties, time off for dependants, paternity and parental leave or “absence” in the form of flexible working...

Top Tips on dealing with an employee who tells you she's pregnant

Before maternity leave begins • Appear genuinely pleased and supportive. This is likely to be a stressful time for the employee and you should make her feel that she can enjoy the experience of being pregnant, even whilst working, and that your...

Flexible working - there's no need to bend the rules!

Dear Auntie I am the HR Manager of a small IT company. One of our systems administrators has submitted a request to work flexibly. Instead of working on weekends, she wants to work 5 as opposed to 3 days a week. We have recently paid for the employee to...